Tomasz Radzinski's last-minute header rescues Everton from defeat at home to Manchester City on New Year's Day but three days later the Blues suffer a humiliating FA Cup exit at Third Division Shrewsbury Town.
Nigel Jemson's late goal secures a famous 2-1 victory for a side managed by Goodison legend Kevin Ratcliffe.
Two loan signings arrive in Liverpool during the transfer window, American international striker Brian McBride and Egypt defender Ibrahim Said, and the former makes an immediate impact - a debut strike in a 4-3 defeat at Tottenham is followed by the two goals that bring Everton's first victory of 2003 against Sunderland.
The most important signing of the month, however, comes the day before that Sunderland match when Wayne Rooney pens a three-and-a-half year professional contract. "I never wanted to go to another club and Everton means a lot to me," says the boyhood Blue.
Joseph Yobo's loan transfer, meanwhile, is made permanent and the month closes with a 2-1 win at Bolton, thanks to a Steve Watson double.